The Louisiana School for the Deaf, along with academics, is an institute that uses athletics to teach their students how to cope with disabilities.
It is a place where actions truly speak louder than words.
The Louisiana School for the Deaf’s football team focuses on the school’s motto that “kids come first.” Athletic Director Ben Cupit believes that LSD’s athletics teach their students with disabilities that their obstacles are only temporary, and are never too big to overcome.
“You can take it in any sport that we have, the things you learn in athletics carries over not only in the classroom, but carries on in life as well,” said Cupit. “As far as disciplining, hard work ethic, things like that, and they really have taken to it and they carry it into the school, and it really, you know, permeates throughout the whole school.”
Working alongside Ben Cupit, Denton Mallas, LSD’s head coach for three years, played football at Gallaudet University, America’s only deaf college football team. While there, Mallas learned not only football but intense life skills of how to overcome obstacles while living with a disability. Today, he graciously takes on being a live-in role model for his team along with being their head coach.
“The assistant coaches, Noelle Haynes and Jaques Houston, have helped tremendously in game planning, for the defense, special teams,” said Mallas. “Noelle Haynes for defense, he’s a defensive coordinator and Jaques Houston for the special teams coordinator. The two of them help me with time planning for games tremendously. So, it’s not just during the game but off the field as well. Because off the field, they help in making sure the team is all working together as a community.”
The LSD Athletics Program has built a competitive team, finishing 5-2 this football season.